Build a Healthy Family Foundation
If you're family is already on track with healthy eating habits, congratulations! If you have areas to improve on, here are some tips to get started today!
- Make sure your family eats a healthy breakfast each day.
- Make changes gradually (one or two at a time) and add them to your daily lifestyle.
- Make healthy choices that fit your family's lifestyle.
- Include all family members in making healthy lifestyle choices.
Good health begins at home with families providing a strong foundation for children as they develop habits. Eating and exercise habits are learned, so it's important for families to practice good health habits together.
Healthy kids are more likely to be healthy adults. By helping children learn to make wise choices, you can help them learn to enjoy healthy foods as well as regular physical activity. Also, research shows that kids who eat dinner often with family are less likely to experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Here are some tips to help you make the family connection between healthy food and fitness!
Take your kids to the supermarket and have them choose healthy foods you can cook with at home. Think of it as an interactive nutrition lesson. Show them examples of healthy whole grains, lean protein and identify the different fruits and vegetables together. Let them choose a healthy new food each week you can prepare together at home. Get your kids involved in preparing family meals. By playing a role in the meal planning and preparation, they are often more likely to try new foods.
Also, make family meal time a priority. As simple as it seems, a regular family meal together can provide a solid foundation for a strong family unit and reinforce good habits. If evening meals are challenging, try scheduling a family breakfast or plan weekend meals together.
And with a new school year upon us, it's important to ensure your child's healthy eating habits are reinforced during the day. Cooking Light offers some simple and healthy lunchbox ideas or you can sit down with your child and identify healthier options from the school's lunch menu.
Whether it's running, jumping, crawling or climbing, children have a natural tendency to be active. This is important because the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend children participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Learn more about how much physical activity children need from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Make sure your kids stay active as they grow and set a positive example by participating in activities together. This can include family walks after dinner, playing catch in the backyard or introducing them to one of your own favorite activities. If you're enthusiastic about being active, your kids are likely to enjoy it as well.
Make good health part of your family's lifestyle today! We've included tips on how you can be active together as a family and ways you can encourage healthy eating in children. Be healthy!